For my friend Tanya Hall, focusing on gut health has made a huge change to her life, and all for the better. Tanya is so passionate about this subject, I had to find out a bit more about what has driven her love of the gut. Here’s the low down….
Work: Live Clean Entrepreneur, Mum and Community worker
What was the catalyst for your research into nutrition?
With both kids presenting with health issues and a family history of auto immune diseases including; coeliacs, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Parkinson’s, thyroiditis, fibromyalgia and more, it seemed inevitable that my future health, was looking even more grim than I currently presented. Having visited many GP’s and specialists of all sorts, I took the approach that “knowledge is power”. Thus my journey began.
How bad were your health conditions?
I had experienced tummy pain and bowel issues all my life. My bloating was so bad, I hadn’t worn pants for years, in fear of the pressure around my tummy. During pregnancy and child birth, I had developed back pain that had rendered me barely able to walk in the coming years. Everyday activities like grocery shopping took an incredible toll, and as a single mum trying to cope, depression and anxiety was setting in hard and fast.
It took a family friend to attempt taking their own life for me to realise that mine was of value and I should take my health research more seriously.
What changes did you make to your diet?
I was finally diagnosed celiac in 2012, so Gluten was cut. Although some of the tummy pain subsided, I still had pain and was then recommended I try “Low FODMAPS”. This essentially cuts out a great deal of fruit and veg including onion, garlic, cauliflower, beans and lentils from the fructan family and anything you would essentially associate with wind, such as cabbage and much more. Again, this gave me some relief, but pain and bloating persisted.
A truly intelligent chemist friend popped over with some Probiotics at that stage and highly recommended (made me try) high doses for the next month. For the price of a coffee, I was seeing results for the first time ever. I then had another recommendation of a higher quality probiotic and as a result my health increased in leaps and bounds for the first time ever! This gave me a new subject to throw myself at.
Can you explain the importance of gut health?
Gut health is essential to our overall health. Scientists and health professionals are now considering our gut as ‘the second brain’!
Our immune system, energy and even brain activity all stem from the health of our gut. If the gut lining thins, villi dies or the gut has an unhealthy overload of bad bacteria, the flow on effect can lead to depression, anxiety, mood swings, headaches, low energy or even auto immune disease.
Based on my experience, I can’t express highly enough just how important the health of our gut is right through out our lives!
If everyone could make one change to a healthier body, what would you suggest?
• Add in high quality doses of Probiotics at least twice per week!
• Get hold of some colloidal minerals and a good quality multivitamin that your body can absorb.
• Ensure your nutrition is coming from fresh produce (Eat clean) and keep moving!
…I realise thats more than one. Sorry!
Do you see food as medicine? If so how?
Definitely. Fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs traditionally have everything we need. Unfortunately our Australian soils appear to be depleted in minerals and vitamins, so not always enough to fuel our bodies, but a great start.
How does your life feel now compared to before you started the change?
I feel amazing now. What once felt like depression and despair has turned to a new way of looking at life. I just wish I’d started this journey earlier and was open to natural therapies a long time ago. Convenience living and great tasting food was a trap for me.
I can now walk around the supermarket without needing to sit down due to pain, which is a massive bonus! I still have a disabled pass for my car, but rarely feel the need to use it these days and am happy to say my gut and bowels are much better! I can even wear pants now!
I’ve changed my household items over to clean living, non toxic products and cleaning is so much easier now, since there’s no scum residue left in the bathroom etc!
I have more energy and haven’t had a cold in 3 years!
How do you suggest people look further into these topics? Any good books or docos?
• Google, google, google! Be open to change and new ideas.
• Ensure any supplements are high quality.
• The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list that David Suzuki developed, is a great place to start regarding fresh versus organic produce.
The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen
• Look into mindfulness. ‘My smiling mind’ is a great app for both adults and kids of all ages.
• Read and ask questions.
• I also offer ‘Tea with Tan’, one on one or small group health sessions, to begin the conversation on clean living with practical solutions. People can contact me through my face book page, Gut Instinct.
And finally, what is happiness to you?
The ability for my family to enjoy good health, happiness and balance. If through my health story, trials and tribulations I’m able to help the health of just one other person, I will be a very happy camper!
Please note that my advice should not replace that of a medical practitioner or specialist.
It’s my hope that sharing my story might just save time, dollars and energy for others.
For more information, chat to Tanya Hall on her Facebook page – Gut Instinct